The Decision: Looking at the Minnesota Vikings’ Chances of Landing Peyton Manning

The Decision: Looking at where Peyton Manning may end up if he becomes a free agent… today, we look at the:


Minnesota just drafted a quarterback with their first round pick last year, Christian Ponder.  Ponder showed some promise, but overall did not have a great year.  Peyton Manning would be an upgrade (he would on most teams), and it wouldn’t be a terrible thing to have Ponder sit behind Peyton either. 

The Vikings have Adrian Peterson, who, in my opinion is the best running back in the league (although he is coming off of a torn ACL late in the season and may not be ready to start the 2012 season).  Percy Harvin is a threat both running and receiving, and Kyle Rudolph and Visanthe Shiancoe provide good tight end depth. 

The Vikings defense is a good unit led by Jared Allen, one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.  They have Mike Singletery as their linebackers coach, and former Colts defensive backs coach Alan Williams is the defensive coordinator of the Vikings. 

The head coach is Leslie Frazier.  Why is that significant?  One, he is a defensive guy.  He would have no problem giving the offense over to Peyton, that would be on Bill Musgrave, the Vikings offensive coordinator.  Two, Leslie Frazier was the defensive backs coach of the Colts from 2005-2006.  Under Frazier’s regime the Colts pass defense improved from 15th (2005) to 2nd (2006), and the Colts won Super Bowl XLI in Frazier’s last game with the team.  He replaced current Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin as the Vikings’ defensive coordinator in 2007, and was named head coach midway through the 2010 season (interesting note: Tony Dungy also was the defensive coordinator of the Vikings).

 So the Vikings definitely have ties to the Colts.  They play in a dome, and draft 3rd in the 2012 NFL Draft.  Sounds like the perfect fit, right? 

Maybe not. 

Upon closer inspection, this team is not close to a super bowl.  While they have pieces there, the team as a whole is not very strong.  And they play in the toughest division in football, with the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, and Detroit Lions.  While Peyton would not shy away from any team if the fit was right, the Vikings being in the NFC North certainly will not help their chances. 

The Vikings might want Christian Ponder to start as well.  And they are considering a move.  Peyton may keep them in Minnesota for a few years if he went there, but I seriously doubt he would want all that distraction. 

The Vikings have the players that, if Peyton Manning were to come to the Vikings, they would have a shot.  But the team is not as close to a super bowl as Peyton is likely going to want. 

Chances of landing Manning:                      6/10 

Chances of playoffs with healthy Manning:                       90% 

Chances of winning super bowl with healthy Manning:   50%


About Josh Wilson
Follow Josh on twitter @jwilsonWL, on Facebook at the Operation: Freedom page, or you can reach him by email at

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